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I Belong


Review: Ensnared by AG Howard

ENSNAREDTitle: Ensnared

Author: A.G. Howard

Genre: YA High Fantasy

Series: Splintered (Book #3)

Publication Date: January 6, 2015

Format: Hardcover, 416 Pages

ISBN-10: 1419712292 (Amulet Books)

ISBN-13: 978-14197122967 (Amulet Books)

Reviewed by: Bridget

Synopsis:

After surviving a disastrous battle at prom, Alyssa has embraced her madness and gained perspective. She’s determined to rescue her two worlds and the people and netherlings she loves. Even if it means challenging Queen Red to a final battle of wills and wiles . . . and even if the only way to Wonderland, now that the rabbit hole is closed, is through the looking-glass world–a parallel dimension filled with mutated and violent netherling outcasts. In the final installment of the wildly popular Splintered trilogy, Alyssa and her dad journey into the heart of magic and mayhem in search of her mom and to set right all that’s gone wrong. Together with Jeb and Morpheus, they must salvage Wonderland from the decay and destruction that has ensnared it. But if they succeed and come out alive, can everyone truly have their happily ever after?

Quick & Dirty: Whimsical, morbid, and fantastic are just a few ways I can explain this amazing retelling of Alice in Wonderland.  I am so sad to see this series end, but I loved it and would highly recommend it to everyone!

Opening Sentence: I once thought memories were something better left behind … frozen pockets of time you could revisit for sentimental value, but more of an indulgence than a necessity.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Warning there may be spoilers for the first two books in the series, so if you haven’t read them yet, I suggest you not read this review.  There will be no spoilers for Ensnared, but it is hard to write a review for a third book without including a few spoilers of previous books.

Alyssa’s life has turned upside down in the last year.  She discovered that Wonderland is real and she is actually part netherling.  She decided that she wanted to live a human life and leave Wonderland behind, but Wonderland didn’t want to leave her alone. With the help of her father she will travel to the parallel world of AnyElsewhere where the two boys she loves are stuck and eventually travel to Wonderland in hopes of saving the land she loves and her mother.  But AnyElsewhere is full of violent creatures that have been kicked out of Wonderland, and their leader is none other than the notorious Queen of Hearts.

Upon arriving in AnyElsewhere Alyssa soon discovers that not only is it dangerous, but it has also changed the two boys she came to save. Will Alyssa be able to finally defeat Queen Red once and for all? Will she be able to save the decaying Wonderland? Finally, will everyone she loves survive the wild adventure and live happily ever after? You are about to find out in this thrilling ending to the amazing Splintered series!

From the first moment I met Alyssa, I instantly loved her.  She is a sweet, witty girl that has an awesome sense of punk style.  Throughout the three books she grows so much and it was so fun to read about her journey of self discovery.  In Ensnared Alyssa has finally decided that she has to accept both the netherling and human side of herself, and she is quite a force to reckon with.  She will do anything in her power to protect the people she loves even if that means facing down her very dangerous enemies.  Alyssa is such a wonderful heroine and my love for her just grew with each book. She is very easy to connect with and she is one of my all time favorite book girls!

I have been team Jeb from the first page and that has yet to change. He is different in this one because of the effects AnyElsewhere has had on him, but I really enjoyed seeing a new side to him.  Even though he has changed he is still the amazing guy he has always been and I just love him.  He is kind, caring, and a total hottie. As most people know I am a sucker for best friend romances and that is exactly what Alyssa and Jeb have.  They have known each other for years and once they got older their friendship turned into something more.  I think my favorite thing about them is that they bring out the best in each other.  Jeb has never wanted Alyssa to be anyone but who she is and loves her unconditionally.   I will always and forever be team Jeb!

Morpheus is such a fascinating character. As you get to know him it amazed me that he had so many layers to his personality.  He is a netherling and rather wild by nature, but he has this other side to him that is so endearing.  I love his snarky comments and flirty banter that he is always throwing at Alyssa; it is really cute.  As a character I actually adored Morpheus, but I wasn’t as big of a fan of him as a love interest.  He brings out a much darker and wilder side of Alyssa when they are together and personally I didn’t like that side of her as well.  They have great chemistry and in many ways work together really well; I just didn’t love them together.

Ensnared is an amazing ending to a fantastic series.  The morbid setting is fascinating, the romance is epic, and the adventure is so much fun. The beginning of the book was a little slow for me, which really surprised me because pacing was never an issue for me with the previous two books. I did find that I had a little bit of a hard time getting into the story at first, but once I hit a certain point I couldn’t put it down.  I think my favorite thing about these books is Howard’s unique writing style. She really knows how to create a picture in your mind from her amazing descriptions and I loved that. I think that she captured Wonderland perfectly with her morbid and whimsical imagery. I will admit that I was a little disappointed with the ending. It’s more because of personal preference than anything else, but I was still very satisfied with how things wrapped up. This entire series was so entertaining to read and I can’t recommend it enough to everyone!

Notable Scene:

The cheers grow deafening as an exquisite woman strides gracefully onto the scene. Her hair is parted down the middle, one side dark burgundy and the other a fiery crimson. Her dress is at once startling and beautiful, just like her. Red and burgundy ruffles cascade over a black tulle underskirt. It creates the effect of zebra stripes, flaring out to a full, lovely shape that drags on the floor. Pulsing shimmery red beads the size of lima beans embellish the elbow-length sleeves. But they aren’t beads at all. She’s wearing the hearts of spirits on her sleeves.

Splintered Series:

1. Splintered

1.5 The Moth in the Mirror

2. Unhinged

3. Ensnared

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FTC Advisory: Amulet Books provided me with a copy of Ensnared.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: Ensnared by AG Howard, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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